We live 2 hours from the subway train that takes you into Washington, DC. So a 2 hour car ride and a 30 minute subway train ride will get us into the heart of DC. That makes it a 5 hour round trip. Add to that the 9 1/2 hours we spent there yesterday and it was a long day, but well worth it. I had not been there since a very brief trip when I was about 12 and Jimmy Carter was president. All I remember about that trip is I saw the President.
Yesterday, we did and saw all sorts of neat things. I’m glad we went because we learned the ropes and now we are prepared to take guests in when they come to visit us. (Hint, hint.) With all the enormity of Washington DC, with the huge parks, monuments, buildings, etc, what struck me the most was an airplane – The Spirit of St. Louis. Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly solo and non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris and this was the plane he used (it was in 1927). What was so amazing was how unimpressive it was. It looks like you’d be fortunate to fly it from Washington DC to Baltimore. But it wasn’t built to win a beauty contest. It was built for a single purpose – to safely get Lindbergh to his destination.
I’d love to go into the fact he had it built with only one engine, no windshield to see out of (only windows in the sides so if he wanted to see forward he had to bank the plane), a cramped cockpit that was 36 in wide × 32 in long × 51 in high – so small that he could not stretch his legs for the 33 hour flight, and more, but I don’t want to bore you, if I haven’t already.
Here’s the key – it had everything it needed to accomplish its purpose and had nothing it didn’t need. It didn’t even have a radio, because he felt it would just add weight and would have been unreliable over the ocean.
Likewise, I think if we were to have a chance to see Moses, the Apostle Paul, King David, and others that we read about in the Bible, I think we’d probably be unimpressed with them as well. But God gave them everything they needed to accomplish His purpose. And He continues to do the same with us. Mike Slaughter is pastor of Ginghamsburg, one of the 10 largest United Methodist Churches in the United States. He’s also written several books. I’ve spent a week with him. He’s not a person who impresses you. God has equipped him with what he needs, he preaches the Gospel, and God has used him in a mighty way.
When God calls you, he equips you. And you do not have to worry that you don’t have what you need. You will have what you need. And you probably won’t have what you don’t need. And while Lindbergh had the Spirit of St. Louis to achieve his purpose, you and I have a Spirit even greater. God places His Holy Spirit in us to accomplish His good will. And it’s not because we’re so impressive.
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5